25,000 protest at Capitol, 14 Senate Democrats flee state - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

25,000 protest at Capitol, 14 Senate Democrats flee state to avoid vote


MADISON (WKOW) -- Outside the Capitol thousands continued to rally against Governor Walker's budget repair bill. Another day of protests and no end in sight.

Thursday 25,000 people showed up here at the Capitol but it was the 14 Senate Democrats that didn't show up, that threw everyone a curve ball.

For the third day in a row thousands turn out to protest. Chants of "kill the bill" filling the Capitol rotunda.

The bill supposed to be voted on by the State Senate was stalled when all 14 Senate Democrats decided to not show up.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says, "This is obviously one of the biggest things to happen in political history and it's been demonstrated all week, but to just not show up for work doesn't make any sense."

They need one more Democrat to pass this bill, but until that happens the Senate floor will remain empty.

Senate President Michael Ellis says, "You need 17 to convene and you need 3/5's to pass a fiscal bill. You need 20 bodies on the floor and we have 19."

Thousands of protestors continue to rally through the night calling the Democrats no-show a step in the right direction.

Monona Grove High School Teacher Denise Peterson says, "I think it's a huge victory and I am so grateful to them, because I know it can't be easy to do but they're standing with the people of Wisconsin fighting for the future of Wisconsin."

While Senate Democrats haven't killed the bill, they've certainly stalled it forcing Republicans to just sit and wait for their return.

Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Falls) says, "They have control of this because they have to come back. It's a democracy we can't force them back. They will have to decide when they feel like they want to come and do the people's work."

Senator Fitzgerald says, "We're hopeful a democratic Senator will come back. We're in caucus right now and ready."

They're estimating about 20,000 people rallied outside the Capitol Thursday and about 5,000 filled the rotunda inside. About a dozen people were arrested for disorderly conduct.





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